News & Updates
Museum Announces Historic Gift on Fifth AnniversaryApril 19, 2022
We are deeply grateful to the Lenfest family, without whom the Museum of the American Revolution would not have been built.Museum President & CEO Dr. R. Scott Stephenson
Five years ago today, with our Founding Chairman Gerry Lenfest and his wife Marguerite by our side, we cut the ribbon on this ambitious new Museum and opened our doors to the public for the first time. Since then, we have welcomed more than a million visitors — a testament to the Lenfests’ generosity and inspired leadership.
Today, we are filled with gratitude to the Lenfest family once again as we announce that the Museum will receive approximately $50 million from the estate of Gerry Lenfest, who passed away in 2018. The monumental gift — the largest single gift in the Museum’s history — will nearly double the Museum’s endowment, putting us in a strong financial position as we look ahead to the 250th anniversary of the nation’s founding in 2026 and strengthening our ability to ensure that the promise of the American Revolution endures.
Gerry Lenfest served as Chairman of the Museum’s Board from 2005-2016. During his tenure, he oversaw major achievements including securing ownership of a site for the Museum in the heart of historic Philadelphia and guiding the Museum’s $150 million capital campaign. The Museum opened — on time, under-budget, and debt-free — in April 2017, after exceeding its capital campaign goal by raising a total of $173 million.
During his lifetime, Lenfest and his wife provided the Museum with more than $60 million, primarily in matching grants that encouraged others to contribute and doubled the impact of gifts made toward completing the Museum’s capital campaign. The Museum building is named for Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest and was dedicated to them in 2016. In addition to providing major financial support to the Museum, Lenfest also established and endowed the Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award to celebrate the importance of public knowledge of American history.